Sports FAQ
Home / Others

If you start attending Cycle classes....

Raindrop2010-05-02 11:00:53 +0000 #1
This is the time of new year resolutions and when outdoor riders (and non-riders) come into the indoor realm of cycling classes. I've been an instructor in this format since 1997 as well as being a personal trainer and an outoor cyclist.

I just wish anyone that takes indoor cycling classes would realize a few things. First, it's really your workout. You don't have to move in and out of the saddle every time the instructor says to, and if it doesn't feel good to you...don't do it!

Cycle classes should be fun and instructive. If an instructor asks you to do push-ups on the bike, or quick jumps in and out of the saddle, or "hovers" ask them (after class) what they believe the benefit is. Chances are that they won't have a reasonable answer because believe me (and studies that support this) that any half-a$$ push-up done on the bike won't improve your cycling and it won't improve your upper body.

What it will do is take away from your training on the bike. Likewise the old "hands behind the back" supposed core movement. If you want to improve your core strength, work on it off the bike...dont dilute your bike training for the sake of "fluff moves" on the spinning bike.

OK...stepping off my soapbox.

Zen2010-05-02 11:16:53 +0000 #2
We've pretty much discussed this.



Originally Posted by Raindrop

Likewise the old "hands behind the back" supposed core movement. If you want to improve your core strength, work on it off the bike...dont dilute your bike training for the sake of "fluff moves" on the spinning bike.

what happened to 'it's your ride"? I do this when I need a stretch.
Raindrop2010-05-02 11:47:11 +0000 #3
I know it's been discussed before. Sorry if restating a subject is considered bad forum behavior, but, I'm not talking about sitting up to stretch, but I am talking about those instructors or participants that place both hands behind the back with the idea that challenging your balance this way will build a stronger core. Yes, it can, but there are more effective core strengthening moves done off the bike.

I will remind people (in a general way since there are 34 bikes in the room) that unless you're getting a drink, toweling off or just a quick posture stretch, it'l best to keep at least one hand on the handlebars simply because I've seen pedal spindles break at least a dozen times over the last 12 or so years.

After one reminder, I drop it. They are all adults and if something was to happen, I have plenty of witnesses that will attest that I gave a warning.

It's always your ride.
WindingRoad2010-05-02 11:56:28 +0000 #4
I know what you are saying about 'fluff' moves. At my gym you can really tell the instructors that ride outside and those who only spin indoors. The indoor riders always do the 'hovering' moves and have you reach way out on the ends of the tri bars while standing which I would never do in real life??? That one just makes my lower back hurt so I never do it. I guess when we are in spin class keep in mind not every instructor is well versed so spin accordingly.
Zen2010-05-02 11:17:41 +0000 #5
nscrbug2010-05-02 12:20:41 +0000 #6
I'm actually glad this topic was brought up, because I have a few questions for the OP. I've been participating in spin classes for probably the last 10 years or so...when I joined my current gym and was first introduced to this new fitness "craze" called, Spinning.

I loved it, and kept going to classes on a regular basis...and still do. However, at my gym...there was only 1 instructor who actually cycled outside (infact, he was a competitive cyclist for a short while) and taught his spin classes accordingly. Sadly, his only class was canceled well over a year ago, due to budget he is no longer teaching there. The remaining 2 spin instructors are more "aerobic-based"...doing the silly jumps, and other high-intensity moves on the spin bikes. Most of the time, I just go with the flow and do whatever we're told to do...figuring that at least it's getting my heartrate up and I'm sweating. BUT...that's not to say that I wouldn't mind tailoring my spin workouts to meet my specific cycling needs better.

So, one of my questions is...what exactly is the proper way to execute a "standing run" on a spin bike? Where should the hands be placed on the bars? My instructors have always done this move, by placing the hands at the ends of the bars (she refers to it as "widening your grip") and spinning at a relatively high cadence (to simulate running). I've never known if this was actually the correct/proper way of doing this, because it's the ONLY way we've ever been taught. I'd love to hear some insight from "real" spin instructors out there. Thanks!!!

Raindrop2010-05-02 13:17:28 +0000 #7
Well, if you're taking an actual "Spinning" class (trademarked) where all the instructors are Spinning certified and the bikes are all Schwinns, then hands are to be in position two when doing a standing run.

I don't do standing runs in my classes simply because the times one usually gets out of the saddle on a real bike is when the hill gets too steep, or when you want to accelerate quickly, and in those cases you have more resistance. Running out of the saddle with little resistance seems counter-intuitive to me so I don't do it in my classes, although it's considered a typical indoor cycling move.

Does that answer what you wanted to know?
nscrbug2010-05-02 12:06:06 +0000 #8
Raindrop -

I take spin classes at my local Ballys Total Fitness, so I seriously doubt that the instructors are "genuine" Madd Dog Athletics Spinning-certified instructors. I think they go through Bally's in-house training program and that's I'm not sure what is actually involved with their training. As for the spin club used to have the Schwinn bikes, but roughly 2 years ago...they were all swapped out for our current bikes, which are Star Trac Spinner Pro models.

But yes, you did answer my question. Perhaps I will start "modifying" the standing run segments of the spin classes that I do, as I agree with you on them being counter-intuitive. In your opinion, what would be the best way to approach this situation, without looking to disrespectful to the instructor? Adding more resistance to make the standing run more of a hill climb? I don't want to totally deviate away from what the majority of the class is I'm looking for an alternative that won't make me look too obvious that I'm doing something "different" than the instructor. Thanks!




Other posts in this category